Technology in the classroom now plays a very big role in the effectiveness of education. Whether your students are five or fifty, it has become expected for teachers and tutors to utilise technology in order to better communicate course material. Many educational organisations offer courses that no longer need to take place in a traditional classroom. This includes language schools, universities and training course providers, many of which now offer a wide range of multimedia courses online.
However, the choice here is not a matter of deciding on the traditional method or the digital one. Schools and other training providers don’t have to decide whether to offer their courses on a solely online or offline basis. Rather, many educational organisations are now seeking to offer courses that offer the absolute best of both options.
Though online multimedia courses are an excellent option for many, a lot of students still prefer the face to face camaraderie of attending physical classes. Many traditional educational organisations are now offering virtual learning environments (VLEs) that their students can log into outside of fixed classroom hours in order to benefit from many of the advantages of virtual courses.
Even better: it’s now becoming more common for teachers and tutors to seek to integrate technology in the classroom in order to enhance the benefit of those fixed classroom hours.
Want to increase the effectiveness of what you are doing in the classroom?
Here are four key ways to use technology in the classroom in a way that is beneficial to all.
#1. Consider the flipped classroom model
If you haven’t yet heard the term flipped classroom, you soon will. This is an educational model that is rapidly spreading in popularity across various parts of the world, including Europe, the UK and America.
The idea of the flipped classroom model is that more should be done to make the most of valuable classroom time. Instead of using this face-to-face time for a teacher to stand at the front of the room and deliver information lecture-style, there should be a way to share that content with students beforehand so that lesson time can be used for discussion, debate, questions and guided activities.
Schools, colleges, universities and training providers who have invested in a delivery system for multimedia courses such as a learning management system (LMS) or learning content management system (LCMS) can use this to explore flipped classroom methodology.
Instead of giving students traditional homework assignments of exercises or revision relating to the topic of the last class, try giving them research assignments to find out about the topic of the next one. This could be as simple as asking them to look at a few related news stories, or could be giving them a few book chapters to read or even a pre-recorded video lecture to watch. The idea is that by doing this research in advance, students will arrive in class already knowing some of the key facts of the topic and the teacher or tutor will be able to utilise this flipped classroom benefit to spend less time actively transferring knowledge and more time supporting the development and understanding of that knowledge.
#2. Take formal assessments online
One of the biggest timesavers that online multimedia courses offer teachers are automated assessments. Many learning management systems (LMS) or learning content management systems (LCMS) offer teachers the chance to design and execute quality assessment exercises online.
But, of course, there’s no reason why this same method can’t be used in the classroom. Why not make assessments more intuitive and dynamic for students and save the teacher’s time by inviting students to sit their assessments in class using their laptop or tablet?
#3. Use a digital whiteboard
One of the key benefits of using a virtual classroom to deliver live multimedia courses is the addition of the virtual whiteboard. This piece of tech allows teachers to share video, images, sound clips, apps and more within a virtual classroom environment.
This tech isn’t just available online. In fact, a digital whiteboard can be a very effective way of using technology in the classroom. Teachers can use it to do everything that can be done on a virtual whiteboard. It could also be used to invite virtual guest lecturers into the classroom using video chatting software such as Skype.
#4. Run multiple activities concurrently
It can sometimes be difficult to manage different ability levels within the classroom. Technology can help with this as teachers can utilise online tools to offer different students different activities. By using multimedia courses resources in this way, teachers can set different groups of students up with different tasks, then move round the classroom to offer them support when needed.
Are you thinking about using more technology in the classroom? You will find more inspiration on the flipped classroom model, multimedia courses, and how to use digital educational resources on our blog.